Implanted Ophthalmic Micropump

Implanted Ophthalmic Micropump

Posted under Eye Conditions, Eye Health, Living With Low Vision, Low Vision Info

Anyone who gets frequent eye injections for wet AMD or diabetic macular edema would be quick to agree that if there was a treatment that made it possible to get the same results with a once a year visit to the eye doctor, they would be first in line. My mother and father-in-law know first hand the burden and discomfort of these regular visits to the eye doctor. The constant appointments, the inconvenience of driving in bad weather, and the discomfort following the injections all take a toll on this senior population.

While eye specialists and researchers appreciate how the new anti-VEGF medications are helping to control vision loss and the development of new leaky blood vessels, they also are always looking to improve on what is currently available. One such researcher is Mark S. Humayun, MD, PhD. While he has a whole list of inventions, accomplishments, publications and patents to his name, most patients with chronic eye diseases will appreciate his latest invention of the Ophthalmic MicroPump™ System. He is one of the co-founders of Replenish Inc, out of Pasadena, California whose mission is “to provide an easier, dependable, and more effective route of drug administration into the eye,”

How The Ophthalmic MicroPump Works
The micropump is implanted under the skin of the eye and can hold up to 12 months of medication before it needs to be refilled. The pump can be programmed to dispense drugs at a nanoliter-size or microdose every hour, day or month with a sensor that provides feedback. The anterior pump has been developed for those needing medication for glaucoma and a posterior pump for those with retinal diseases. The company calls the programmable part of the system, “The EyeLink™ which is a wireless programmer/charger that communicates with the MicroPump implant.

Diabetic Macular Edema Study
A small study of 11 patients with diabetic macular edema (DME) were implanted with the Posterior MicroPump Drug Delivery System (PMP) prefilled with ranibizumab (Lucentis) into the subconjunctival space. The PMP was wirelessly controlled to deliver a programmed microdose. Biweekly comprehensive ophthalmic exams and optical coherence tomography were performed for 90 days. At the end of the study, the PMP was removed and patients then received standard of care for DME.

The study and article Implantable MicroPump for Drug Delivery in Patients with Diabetic Macular Edema published on line 2014 Dec 1 at Translational Vision Science and Technology concluded:
“This study demonstrates the first-in-man safety of the Replenish MicroPump implant for a period of 90 days and its capability to deliver a microdose into the vitreous cavity. Further studies to enable longer-term safety and to demonstrate the feasibility of multiple programmable drug delivery are necessary.”

For more information on research for macular degeneration visit:
Macular Degeneration Research
Leslie Degner, RN, BSN